USB, Firewire, eSATA Connectors Guide

The purpose of this guide is to allow you to identify the type of connector you are dealing with, so that you can know exactly what cable to buy. Cables sold by the Tech Store are in the Catalog, and some other cables may be available for special order.

New USB Connectors

USB is the most common connection found on computers. There are three main types of connectors: USB-A which is used to connect flash drives, external hard drives, MP3 players, mice, keyboards, and printers to your computer. The second type of connector is USB-B which is commonly found on USB printers and some external hard drives. Finally the third type, USB-C is a new version of USB that can be used for just about anything, itis relatively new and should be implemented on a mass scale by the end of 2016. This section describes specifically the USB types and generations that are just coming to the market as the new standards and most devices released in 2016 and on will contain them.

Type
Connector (Diagram)
Connector (Actual)
Maximum Theoretical Speed
Commonly Used With
USB (3.1) A
USB A 6-pin
USB A (6-pin male)

usb31.png
USB A (6-pin male)

10 Gbps
USB Flash Drives, External Hard Drives, External CD/DVD Drives, Apple iPod/iPhone and other similar multimedia devices
USB (3.1) B
usb3b.jpg
USB 3.1 B
usb3birl.jpg
USB 3.1 B
10 Gbps
Yet to be implemented on a large scale
USB (3.1) A
USB3.1CDiagram.png
USB Type C

USB3.1CActual.jpg
USB Type C

10 Gbps
Some computers and cellphones, yet to be implemented on a large scale
         

Standard USB Connectors

Many of the USB types that are listed above are too new to be the primary version in circulation. This section describes the previous versions of USB types that you are more likely to see on devices that are not brand new.

Type
Connector (Diagram)
Connector (Actual)
Maximum Theoretical Speed
Commonly Used With
USB (3.0) A
USB A 6-pin
USB A (6-pin male)

usb31.png
USB A (6-pin male)

5 Gbps
USB Flash Drives, External Hard Drives, External CD/DVD Drives, Apple iPod/iPhone and other similar multimedia devices
USB (3.0) B
usb3b.jpg
USB 3.0 B
usb3birl.jpg
USB 3.0 B
5 Gbps
Yet to be implemented on a large scale
Mini USB 3.0  Mini USB 2.0 Female
Female (5-pin)
 
Mini USB 2.0 Male
Male (5-pin)
 
 5 Gbps Digital cameras, many cellphones, PSP, PS3 Controllers, External Hard Drive Enclosures (for 2.5'' hard disks) 
Micro USB 3.0  
microB.jpg
Micro USB 3.0
 usb3micro.jpg
Micro USB 3.0
 5 Gbps Smart phones, digital cameras, external hard drives, popular gaming consoles
         

Older USB Connectors

These are USB types are starting to see their age but they are still widely in circulation on computers, phones, printers, etc that are a few years old.

Type
Connector (Diagram)
Connector (Actual)
Maximum Theoretical Speed
Commonly Used With
USB (2.0) A
USB A 6-pin
USB A (6-pin male)

USB A
USB A (6-pin male)

480 Mbps
USB Flash Drives, External Hard Drives, External CD/DVD Drives, Apple iPod/iPhone and other similar multimedia devices
USB (2.0) B
USB B 4-pin
USB B (4-pin male)
USB B
USB B (4-pin male)
480 Mbps
Printer Connection/Interfacing (eg. USB A to USB B cabling - to computer or networking device)
Mini USB 2.0  Mini USB 2.0 Female
Female (5-pin)
 
Mini USB 2.0 Male
Male (5-pin)
 
 480 Mbps Digital cameras, many cellphones, PSP, PS3 Controllers, External Hard Drive Enclosures (for 2.5'' hard disks) 
Micro USB 2.0  Micro-USB.jpg
Micro USB B
 http://techstore.doit.wisc.edu/images/C55534.jpg
Micro USB
480 Mbps
 New cellphones 
         

Non Standard USB Connectors

These connections are not standard and less common. They are normally used with digital cameras, video game devices, or MP3 players.

Type
Female Connector
Male Connector
Commonly Used With
New Mini USB 4-Position
New Mini USB Female
Female (5-pin)
New Mini USB Male
Male (4-pin)
Digital cameras, iPAQ MP3 player and other MP3 players
Mini USB 4-Position
Mini USB Female
Female (5-pin)
Mini USB Male
Male (4-pin)

Some digital cameras and other obscure devices

*This cable is not widely used.*

 

Firewire Connections

Firewire, also known as i.Link (Sony's trademarked name for the standard) and IEEE 1394 is a type of connection often found on laptops. It is used for connecting peripherals such as external hard drives and some types of cameras and digital video camcorders to your computer. It can also be used to attach two Mac computers to each other and transfer data from one to another. Firewire 800 offers the highest performance of its predecessors and is superior to USB 2.0 in terms of thoroughput performance.

Type
Connector (Diagram)
Connector (Actual)
Maximum Theoretical Speed
Delivers Power?
Commonly Used With
Firewire 400 (4-Pin)
IEEE-1394 4-pin male
IEEE-1394 4-pin (male)
IEEE-1394 4 Male
IEEE-1394 4-pin (male)
400 Mbps*
No
Older Sony camcorders/digital cameras (as i.Link), many PC laptops early/middle 2000's
Firewire 400 (6-Pin)
IEEE-1394 6-pin male
IEEE-1394 6-pin (male)
IEEE-1394 6 Male
IEEE-1394 6-pin (male)
400 Mbps*
Yes**
Older Apple PCs, External Hard Drives and Optical Drives
Firewire 800
Firewire 800 Diagram Image
IEEE-1394 9-pin (male)
Firewire 800 Actual Image
IEEE-1394 9-pin (male)
800 Mbps
Yes**
Modern Apple laptops and desktops, modern non-Apple PCs, External Hard Drives, Digital Video Camcorders

*Although these speeds are rated lower than USB 2.0, in actuality, Firewire 400 normally reaches speeds much faster than that of USB 2.0.
**This can only deliver enough power for a 2.5 inch hard drive.

e-SATA

eSATA is used to connect a computer to an external hard drive or external optical drive; this method offers much higher transfer rates between devices as compared to USB 2.0, but these devices typically require a standalone power supply.

Type
Connector (Diagram)
Connector (Actual)
Maximum Theoretical Speed
Delivers Power?
Commonly Used With
eSATA
eSATA Diagram Image
e-SATA (male)
eSATA Actual Image
e-SATA (male)
3 Gbps
No
External Hard Drives and Optical Drives

 




Keywords:personal departmental mini micro USB flash thumb drive A B C 2.0 3.0 3.1 old new standard eSata Firewire iLink _Crossover i.Liink i Link 1394 IEEE IEEE1394 connector guide pin speed connection data cable   Doc ID:3113
Owner:Justin E.Group:DoIT Tech Store
Created:2004-08-01 18:00 CSTUpdated:2016-07-26 10:37 CST
Sites:DoIT Tech Store
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